January 21, 2022
President Leshin gave a comprehensive campus update to more than 180 alumni. The presentation covered:
- How WPI has responded to the pandemic and has learned important lessons over the past nearly two years. President Leshin noted that students, faculty, and staff are back from the winter break, C-Term is underway, and we are taking a flexible approach.
- An update from Philip Clay, senior vice president of Student Affairs, about the campus Coronavirus Emergency Response Team model, how the campus has continued to follow the data, pivot, and keep the community healthy and safe—noting that there have been no student hospitalizations for COVID-19.
- An update from President Leshin on the recent student deaths and how the WPI community, including alumni, has responded with care and compassion. Senior Vice President Clay also provided information on the work of the Mental Health and Well-being Task Force and steps already being taken to respond to these issues including: a new after-hours telehealth line, easier and online scheduling with the Student Development and Counseling Center, and the addition of three new full-time counselors.
- An overview of the new strategic plan, Lead With Purpose: 2021-2026, which focuses on why we do this work at WPI—to transform lives, to turn knowledge into action to confront the world’s challenges, and to revolutionize STEM. The themes that drive the plan are: Student Access, Well-Being, and Outcomes; Purpose-Driven Education and Research; and Who We Are and How We Work.
- An update from Donna Stock, vice president for University Advancement, on Beyond These Towers: The Campaign for WPI, with a $350 million philanthropy goal and $150 million research goal. The campaign launched in October 2021 and is more than 70 percent of the way there.
- And an overview of Unity Hall—WPI’s new five-story academic and student academic services building that just opened—supported by generous alumni and friends. It includes laboratories, collaboration spaces, and faculty offices for six cross-disciplinary programs: Architectural Engineering; Bioinformatics and Computational Biology; Data Science; Interactive Media and Game Development; Learning Sciences and Technologies; and Robotics Engineering. It also pulls together several student services, previously spread across the campus, creating the Student Academic Services Center, which will include a space to honor Dean van Alstyne thanks to the support of alumni.
Join us at Alumni Weekend, May 20-21—on campus—to hear President Leshin give another update about your alma mater. Registration opens in February. Watch your email for details!